Whitworths buys Carr's flour milling business

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 | MERGER

Food business Whitworths has bought agricultural group Carr’s flour milling business in a deal worth £36 million.

The three flour mills – at Silloth in Cumbria, Kirkcaldy in Fife and Maldon in Essex – have been transferred to Whitworths, which is based in Northamptonshire.

Carr’s made an unsolicited approach to Whitworths to enquire whether it was interested in purchasing the milling business. Whitworths is known for its baking, dried fruits and snacking ranges.

Whitworths Holdings chairman, Martin George, said: “Carr’s Flour Mills Ltd shares a similar history to Whitworths in that it is a long standing business which has received material investment in recent years.

“The business is a great fit geographically and will give us access to the South East, North of England and Scottish markets that would otherwise not be available and means we have national reach.”

All staff at the three mills have moved across to the employment of Whitworths as part of the deal. Carr’s will now focus on its agriculture and engineering interests, The Courier reported.

Ahead of the deal, Carr’s told its shareholders that Whitworths would be “extremely well placed” to develop the growth of the business, building on the extensive investment that Carr’s had already made in the mills.

Carr’s chief executive, Tim Davies, said: “At a time of increasing competition and volatility in the flour market, consolidation is essential and inevitable.

“This acquisition by Whitworths presents a great opportunity for the Food division to continue building on the strong foundations laid over many years.”

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